Tuesday, May 26, 2015


One of the things I look forward to the most upon my aunt's family's arrival from Colombia is the poundfuls of hibiscus they bring. Some stash clothing, they stash brick-of-a-bag of herbs. So when I opened the cupboard the other day to find a bag full of it, I had to make my signature summer tonic.

When simmered for a long time, hibiscus is an incredibly deep, tangy, + healing flower. In Ayurvedic medicine, it's known as gudhal and for its calming effects for both the physical and psychological bodies. It soothes the brain tissue by calming monkey mind or our incessant tendency to jump from and wrestle with one thought after another. It holds the heart in its cardiac and circulatory support, which is crucial in the heat of a summer's day. It's also an incredible digestive strengthener, ailing any slow transit and aiding in the proper assimilation of foods from multiple outdoor barbecues. It also is one of the best Ayurvedic remedies for irregular menstrual cycles. It does, however, possess anti-fertility effects as well, by preventing unwanted pregnancies. So I would recommend consulting your health practitioner, as with the consumption of any herbal remedies, if you are or planning to become pregnant before consuming this tonic.

Rose is used often with hibiscus in Ayurvedic medicine for its cooling properties, which makes the combination a perfect summer drink. I like finishing off this tonic by placing crushed strawberries on the bottom as it provides a slight sweetness to the tang of hibiscus. Prepare + sip on summer . . .

1 quart alkaline water
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
2 tablespoons rose water
Sweetener to taste | jerusalem artichoke syrup / raw honey / stevia / coconut sugar / maple sugar
Organic strawberries to serve

Bring water to boil. Once boiled, place the hibiscus flowers in the pot  + continue boiling for two more minutes
Lower the heat to a simmer + let it sit on low heat for 15 minutes
Take it off the heat + let it cool down / make sure it is cool especially so if you'll be adding raw honey to this tonic as the heat kills honey's essential enzymes
Once cool, add your optional sweetener, rose water, + cool in the refrigerator if you'd like. I serve it slightly cool but not cold as cold drinks are shocking to the system + slow digestion down according to Ayurvedic medicine
Crush strawberries + place them on the bottom of your glasses, pour the hibiscus tea, + serve! Chin chin!